Blogging Out Loud

Connecting You with the Latest Marketing Tips and Trends.

4 Marketing Fast Facts and How You Can Apply Them Today!

 

We marketers love analytics! We use them to understand how well we've done in the past and what the future has in store

We marketers love analytics! We use them to understand how well we’ve done in the past and what the future has in store

The marketing effectiveness of Facebook is overrated. With the advent of online product reviews, the need for live product sampling is dying. As so many Hispanics are blending into the American mainstream, the need for special marketing efforts to reach this group has lessened.

We marketers are confronted with factoids, opinions and data every day. As marketers we share a common trait to dig deep and understand the situation; we love getting into the analytics and using the insights we’ve gained to see what the future has in store. As marketers we share more than a love of—we share a passion for uncovering our customers’ needs and figuring out what we need to do to make sure those needs are met.

In that spirit, Blogging Out Loud analyzed a few fascinating marketing facts that you can use to help craft your company’s message so that you really connect with your target audience.

Fact #1: 47% of marketers say that Facebook is overrated as a marketing tool (source: Direct Marketing News):

Not so fast, says Don E. Schultz, President of marketing consulting firm Agora, Inc. and professor Emeritus of Integrated Marketing Communications Northwestern University. There’s more to the story than that simple stat. “The issue is not the social networks themselves,” he says, “but the way in which marketers use them.”He goes on, “Marketers believe that they can utilize social media like any other media; they try to force their way into these outlets to talk about their product instead of listening to the consumer.” 

Instead, he says, building long-term relationships with clients is the approach to take nowadays. “Instead of the four P’s (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion) we say SIVA: Solution, Information, Value, and Access,” he continues. “Clients are looking for this, they want their problems solved.”

Companies seem to finally be getting it. They realize that social media isn’t about bombarding people with ads; its about addressing their concerns, solving their problems, and making that emotional connection. How are they doing that? By treating them like real people. By being responsive. By being receptive. Because remember, when someone posts on Facebook or Twitter its seen by countless people…and so is the response.

There’s plenty of examples out there of companies that are social media savvy. Take Morton’s. Author Peter Shankman sent out this playful, tongue-in-cheek Tweet to Morton’s Steakhouse:

There’s plenty of examples out there of companies that are social media savvy. Take Morton’s. Author Peter Shankman sent out this playful, tongue-in-cheek Tweet to Morton’s Steakhouse

To Shankman’s utter disbelief, a Morton’s staffer drove 23 miles to the airport to greet him with a full meal. The story made the social media rounds. As Shankman says, “Customer service isn’t about telling people how awesome you are. It’s about creating stories that do the talking for you.”

To Shankman’s utter disbelief, a Morton’s staffer drove 23 miles to the airport to greet him with a full meal. The story made the social media rounds. As Shankman says, “Customer service isn’t about telling people how awesome you are. It’s about creating stories that do the talking for you.”

Fact #2: The U.S. Hispanic consumer market is forecast to grow to $1.5 trillion U.S. by 2015. (source: DATAMARK, Inc.)

In a single decade—2000 to 2010—the U.S. Hispanic population boomed by 43%. It happened fast and, while there have been some growing pains, there are virtually limitless opportunities for companies who commit to understanding this important and ever-strengthening market. As marketers, we need to recognize what makes this market so unique. For example, you may not know that Hispanic-owned businesses are growing at twice the national average. Over the last measured five-year period, Hispanic-owned business revenue grew 55 percent and reached nearly $350 billion. That is serious competition for companies looking to make their mark the Hispanic market. So a clever company may want to consider partnering with a Hispanic business people to help bridge the gap.

Companies must get past preconceptions about the Hispanic consumer; those who strategize how to capture this fast-growing market will gain a huge competitive advantage. Hispanic consumers also are quick to adopt new technology, terrific news for marketers who want to develop online strategies specific to the Hispanic market.

Companies must get past preconceptions about the Hispanic consumer; those who strategize how to capture this fast-growing market will gain a huge competitive advantage. Hispanic consumers also are quick to adopt new technology, terrific news for marketers who want to develop online strategies specific to the Hispanic market.

Marketers who make the commitment to get to know the Hispanic community are at an advantage. Like everyone, Hispanics want to feel like the companies who want their business genuinely care about them. Hispanics don’t want to be “sold” to; they want to be understood.

Fact #3: 30% of customers buy full-size products after sampling. (source: Inc.)

7-11 and their popular “free Slurpee Day.” USA Today, Slurpee sales shot up 38% on Free Slurpee Day even though the chain gave away 4.5 million of the drinks—because when people came in to get their Slurpee, they bought other items as well.

7-11 and their popular “free Slurpee Day.” USA Today, Slurpee sales shot up 38% on Free Slurpee Day even though the chain gave away 4.5 million of the drinks—because when people came in to get their Slurpee, they bought other items as well.At first glance, giving out free stuff costs money and could possibly hurt the bottom line. Why would anyone want to do that? But when devised correctly, giveaways and samples are more than a vital part of a good marketing plan—they are, in fact, all but guaranteed to boost the bottom line.

At first glance, giving out free stuff costs money and could possibly hurt the bottom line. Why would anyone want to do that? But when devised correctly, giveaways and samples are more than a vital part of a good marketing plan—they are, in fact, all but guaranteed to boost the bottom line.

When you stroll through the isles of your local Trader Joe’s market, you’ll invariably come upon a Trader Joe’s associate cooking up something that smells delicious. As they tempt you with a free taste, the associate explains how much your family at home will love this dish. And to make your life easier, Trader Joe’s has thoughtfully stacked all the ingredients for the dish right there, along with a printed recipe for you to take along. And approximately a third of people do.

Giveaways encourage consumers to experience your products at no risk and if they enjoy that experience, they’ll buy the item immediately and then come back for more. Plus, people feel good when they are offered something with no strings attached. And of course, there is the social media aspect. You want the buzz—the positive “word of mouth”—that comes when a customer has a good experience with your company. An article in the Journal of Marketing found that people who got a product for free talked about it on social media 20% more. So with all this in mind, the question isn’t why would you want to give out free stuff…it’s why wouldn’t you?

Fact #4: 2013 online retail sales totaled $263 billion — just 6 percent of total U.S. retail sales. (source: International Council of Shopping Centers)

Consumers are blurring the lines between online and in-store purchases. 48% of consumers have ordered online and picked up their purchase in–store. 37% of consumers use the Internet to research items but prefer to make in-store purchases. 35% of consumers have ordered online and returned their purchase in-store.

Consumers are blurring the lines between online and in-store purchases. 48% of consumers have ordered online and picked up their purchase in–store. 37% of consumers use the Internet to research items but prefer to make in-store purchases. 35% of consumers have ordered online and returned their purchase in-store.

It turns out, according to an May 2014 report by the International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC), that while brick-and-mortar retailers are certainly having to adjust their marketing strategies in the face of cyber competitors, the “bricks vs. clicks” battle has not yet been won. The ICSC reports that 2013 online retail sales in the United States totaled $263 billion—just 6 percent of total U.S. retail sales. Brick-and-mortar sales totaled $4.3 billion. Consumers indicated that just 13% of their purchases are made online. And while e-commerce growth outpaced in-store growth by nearly 5 to 1, a deeper examination shows that those growth rates were calculated off a small base: 10% growth for e-commerce only accounts for $38 billion, while in-store growth equals $144 billion.

But where online retailers beat brick-and-mortar retailers is in customer engagement. Online retailers “see” that you’ve just put a dress in your shopping cart and “makes suggestions” for similar items you may like. Online retailers have live customer service chat available 24/7. They use their extensive social media reach to stay in appropriate contact. Online retailers are experts in creating the lasting relationships that keep customers coming back.

So as marketers, what does this mean for us? Andrew Kessler, CEO of Huge Ideas, says that now brands have the opportunity to aggregate the content and insight they have developed for online and put that back into the hands of their salespeople, to create even more seamless and personal experiences for shoppers.

The take away….

We’ve given you plenty of numbers to chew over, resources to check into, and our thoughts on what all of it means. Ultimately, as much as we love our numbers, there is a simple truth we all know: that successful marketing has as much to do with building relationships as it does with facts and figures. “You need to be able to create the strategies, communicate the ideas effectively, and connect fully with the target audience”, notes Phil Saifer, President of integrated marketing firm Vertical Marketing Network. “Anything less will simply not breakthrough”, adds Saifer. So, fellow marketers, where do you stand?  

Here’s a link to some  mind-blowing marketing fact facts that will really make you think!


Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.

Screen captures intended as illustrative examples only. Registered trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.

18 comments on “4 Marketing Fast Facts and How You Can Apply Them Today!

  1. Nicco Mouleart
    June 13, 2014

    I don’t believe Facebook is overrated because of the ongoing dialogue and engagement between a brand and consumers on Facebook that is created utilizing this social media platform. There are some great examples of turning that ongoing conversation and fan base into tangible traffic and sales building opportunities. A perfect example is the recent Facebook poker tournament implemented at Golden West casino where Facebook fans of the casino were provided an exclusive poker tournament opportunity which not only drove current fans but new players and fans to the casino to participate in the event and also other games offered on site.

    In regards to the Hispanic market boom, this shouldn’t be a question of are you marketing to Hispanics, it should be a question of what your integrated marketing plan is to market to this consumer segment. It is critical to identify the different levels of acculturation and the country of origin and be sure to develop relevant programs that speak to these segments in their language and address their cultural needs.

  2. Tom
    June 13, 2014

    I actually read a very interesting article about Facebook on Slate recently – it seems a pair of Princeton researchers applied actual epidemiological models to what they term as “Online Social Networks” (OSNs) – in other words, they looked at the “viral” aspect of viral networks, and concluded that Facebook would lose 80% of its users between 2015 and 2017. Here’s the study:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.4208

    and here’s the article in Slate “debunking” it:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/01/facebook_s_decline_in_popularity_a_viral_research_paper_doesn_t_prove_its.html

    While both are an interesting read, the question they bring to my mind is how do we identify a platform that is losing its effectiveness? More importantly, what tools do we have to identify “up-and-and coming” alternatives? I’m old enough to remember when AOL was the online market leader, and trust me, nobody saw it failing at the rate it did until it was all over. Facebook was huge almost overnight – nobody saw that coming either.

    Regardless of whether or not Facebook is going into a decline, it’s important to be able to identify the “next Facebook”. How does one do that? Where are the clues?

  3. MarkS
    June 13, 2014

    Also, it’s important to acknowledge that unlike a lot of social networks, Facebook does not have one single purpose – it’s a platform that offers many tools to marketeers – a brand could have phenomenal click through rates which fail to convert into a tangible results if the brand has a poor content strategy or fails to utilize their presence as a CRM tool.

    • Kim Haman
      June 13, 2014

      Yes, Mark–
      your point underscores how important it is for us to think about the FB platform as a tool for relationship building. It’s not about inundating fans with “stuff.” It’s about engagement, responsiveness, and commitment to keeping the relationship going. I sound like a marriage counselor, lol!

  4. MarkS
    June 13, 2014

    Those marketeers who think Facebook is overrated are probably subscribing to an old school of thought. Marketing to consumers has evolved into a dialogue between brand and consumer, replacing the one-sided dynamic where consumers are talked at, instead of talked to.

    Brand ownership is now a democratic process which is shaped as much by the consumer as it is by corporate HQ and marketeers have to work harder to control the message. Positive brand experiences offer great opportunities for brands, but equally amplify the potential for a negative brand experience to spiral into a PR disaster – particularly with social news sites like Gawker being much less reliant on advertiser dollars than traditional media, and sites like Reddit empowering it’s users as instruments for social justice.

    It will be interesting to see how Facebook evolves further as a marketing tool if the model does indeed change from organic to paid reach. Will consumers still invest the same amount of trust into a brand? Will Facebook become over saturated with advertisers? What will brands do to make their content more compelling to consumers?

    • Kim Haman
      June 13, 2014

      Hi Mark,
      As some of the other commenters on this blog have pointed out, Facebook and other social media platforms are a tool we can use to create and foster relationships. When we provide useful, applicable, and unique information to our FB fans and friends, they will trust us. We cannot think of FB or other social media in the same vein as a magazine ad or a TV commercial. Social media is a back-and-forth, give-and-take relationship–if we give it the attention and effort it needs to flourish.

  5. joannemhilton
    June 13, 2014

    I agree with Karen that it’s hard to believe that 47% of marketers think that Facebook is overrated. It may be perceived that way because there are so many other social medias available. I think it’s a great boost for small businesses – and perhaps more affordable than other venues out there. It allows the consumer to “like” and post a comment whether positive or negative – which in turn provides the marketer with immediate information. As for sampling in stores … this is such a great marketing tool! I must admit that I get sucked into buying the full size version!

  6. jeffs zen garden
    June 13, 2014

    Regarding #1- This is because many marketers (and their clients) don’t understand that Facebook is not really a “marketing tool” at all!

    As we get more involved in “Customer Relationship Management” as it relates to social media, we are discovering some interesting things with our restaurant clients. We get much more engagement with posts concerning “people and personalities” than we do with “product and promotions”. I think as marketers, we had best recognize and accept that social networks are not “marketing tools” in any traditional sense. We need to very careful in directing our clients to avoid overt “selling” on social media. Good lasting relationships take time, care and honesty to build. Friends don’t like being “worked” by their friends!

  7. nofrey
    June 13, 2014

    Social media is a valuable marketing tool if it’s used correctly. Brands who successfully engage in social media understand the need to create a dialogue with their consumers; they don’t just talk to themselves.

    Although you might not think of granola bars when you think of anime, Nature Valley’s Twitter receives unprecedented appreciation and user-generated art from anime fans… simply because their community manager actively engaged with users about their common interest. http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/nature-valley-anime-twitter

    • Kim Haman
      June 13, 2014

      Nofrey, well said!!! That is exactly it. The social media platforms give us an invaluable opportunity to create a give-and-take relationship with our customers. Like any relationship, though, it needs to be nurtured in order to thrive. We cannot get complacent!

  8. karen
    June 13, 2014

    I find it hard to believe the 47% of marketers think that Facebook is overrated. Facebook and all social media is a gift to marketing and FB is still the #1 social media site. It is a chance to listen directly to their customers and engage with them on a very personal level. Dismissing that is crazy! If a customer is willing to spend the time to post a complaint or complement about your brand, they should be acknowledged. When I have commented or complained about a product or service and someone from the company calls or writes back to me–I feel empowered. That is something that can’t be purchased.

    • Kim Haman
      June 13, 2014

      Hi Karen,
      I agree! I think that “47%” are marketers who haven’t seen the results that they want from their Facebook pages. They haven’t learned, yet, how to utilize this amazing platform for engage their target audience. It is far more than creating a page and waiting for fans to line up. Marketers need to actively engage their fans, through contests, giveaways; by responding to their comments, by addressing their concerns. It is really important to stay on top of all the FB page activity.

  9. Martin
    June 13, 2014

    Free samples are everywhere these days—supermarket chains, malls and online offers. What better way to market a product? If I’m given a free sample while shopping at Costco, for instance, and I like it, I buy it. Simple and effective.

    • Kim Haman
      June 13, 2014

      I LOVE samples! And I don’t know if it works this way for you, but sometimes if I get a really big sample of something (like the mini-meals they give away at Trader Joe’s!) I feel a little guilty if I don’t buy it… (blushing!)

  10. CV
    June 13, 2014

    No doubt that marketers are acknowledging the power of the Hispanic consumers’ economic spending power, many brands are now allocating a budget to tap into this market effectively. Some recent moves tie into the World Cup, as soccer is a great passion for the Hispanic community –> VW will run commercials in English and Spanish on ESPN and Univision, while Hyundai has made its largest-ever Spanish-language TV buy to reach young Hispanic males, while promoting the hashtag #BecauseFutbol. In the U.S., football may be bigger than futbol, but the month-long World Cup actually garners Super Bowl-sized audiences over its entire run. And Hispanics spent $39 billion on new-car purchases last year.

    • Kim Haman
      June 13, 2014

      Thanks for your reply, CV! I think that a company discounts this important market at their own peril. As marketers, we need to think ahead of the trends–anticipate what is coming. Hyundai is a great example of that

  11. Kim Haman
    June 6, 2014

    You know, when it comes to sampling, I think timing is key and the way it is presented are key. Take the example I used–Trader Joe’s. They set up their food sample display in the early afternoon hours–when the moms are shopping before picking up their kids from school. What to make for dinner is on their minds. Trader Joe sets themselves up as a the answer to that question. Here, look! Dinner… easy, fast, delicious! Their tack is really quite smart!

  12. Philip
    June 5, 2014

    One of the first tenants I learned in marketing so many years ago, is still valid today. The easiest way to kill a bad product is by sampling it and the best way to promote it is by sampling it. Therefore it is not hard to understand that 30% of consumers sampling a product will buy a full size product if they have a good experience. It is that simple.

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